Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My Boy

Today was a frustrating day.....one of many, actually.  I am beginning to wonder if there is something more than just straight up two year old behavior going on.  It just doesn't seem right.  Maybe it is simply because I have so much else going on that this age seems more difficult......but I am really beginning to wonder.

Spencer sets the mood of each day in this house.

If he wakes up in a good mood the day is FANTASTIC in so many ways.  The kids all get along.....the day flows smoothly from one thing to the next.....I spend quite a bit of time just hanging out with the kids, having fun......I rarely have to send someone to time-out.....he goes to sleep without getting up a hundred times.....

He is seriously an angel.  He is thoughtful & loving.  He is obedient.  He likes to help & enjoys sharing. 

If he wakes up in a bad mood, I can just go ahead, buckle down & prepare for a frustrating & exhausting day.  The kids fight verbally as well as physically all day.......every time we try to do something I end up getting frustrated because Spencer is causing some kind of issue that ends up in total chaos, which in turn causes me to play with the others less because I know it will just be too much trouble to deal with Spencer, which in turn causes me to feel guilty over spending so little time with them that day.....he will be sent to (or drug to) time-out 8 billion times......he will get ANGRY & there are times that he literally frightens me......

I know this sounds ludicrous to put the mood of the whole house on the shoulders of a two year old but it is true.  I have tried every way I know to get around this but the facts remain.

And if you don't know me, I run a fairly tight ship as far as a schedule goes.....at least the basics like eating & sleeping.  I have considered that maybe it has to do with him not getting enough sleep but I have not noticed any correlation between his mood & a change in the schedule.

The days he is in a bad mood are just crazy.  He is so aggressive.....to the point it seems he can't control himself.....like even when you think he is trying to be loving, it can so quickly turn into something else.  He throws things, hits, pushes, screams......& these are not when he is mad......he is just doing it to do it.

He is so inconsiderate & disrespectful......to me & to the other kids.....& this isn't because he doesn't understand.....it's because he just doesn't care.  ie.  tonight he wanted me to get him some water but I was rocking Sydney to sleep.  I told him I would get it as soon as I laid her down & he totally flipped out because he wanted it right then (which he wouldn't always do....alot of the time he would be totally okay with that answer).  I went to lay Sydney down & he followed me in there, incessantly calling my name & asking for a drink.  He not only woke Sydney up but Sawyer also.  When I tried to tend to them, to get them back to sleep he just screamed & screamed because he wanted his water TRYING to irritate me by keeping them awake.  It seems as if he can't process a different answer than the one he wanted.  This is so different than a normal tantrum.....I wish I could explain it better.

He IGNORES me.  This one makes me crazy but if I try to talk to him or tell him something he just completely ignores me.  It is as if he doesn't even hear me.  He is SOOO good at this.....to the point that I think he actually tunes me out.   And again....this is unusual in the fact that it isn't always when he's into trouble.  It's like he is so focused on A that B can't exist until his focus is broken.

He picks.....he picks at Sam, he picks at Sawyer.  He does things with the express purpose of getting them riled up.

No matter what mood he is in, he is a cuddler & just plain sweet.  He likes for us to touch him, hold him, hold his hand, rub his arm.....even if he is sitting in our lap. He will randomly come to me with a big smile wanting a hug & kiss.....just because......even if he was in trouble & angry with me 5 minutes earlier.

He is incredibly sensitive & gets his feelings hurt very easily.  He takes most everything personal.  He is so emotional & will run off crying & hide if he feels hurt (& sometimes the things he gets upset about seem so insignificant).  He doesn't want you to console him.....he just has to take some time to be upset & then he just gets over it & is fine.

The difference in a good day vs a bad day....... Let's just use playdough....... If it's a good day the majority of the playdough stays on the table......he & Sam will sit there for a long time playing together, sharing & having fun.......when they are done the playdough is picked up & the tools put back in the box.  If it's a bad day there will be playdough everywhere.......I will have to come in to the kitchen a zillion times to supervise the chaos because someone is screaming over someone not sharing or Spencer is throwing playdough or......when it comes time to pick up, Spencer will run away & if I ask him to help pick up he just refuses & joyfully goes to time-out instead.  You get the picture.

I don't know......I'm just ready to be in control of my home again.  I don't feel like any amount of discipline does any good.  I don't feel like any amount of rewarding does any good.  I don't feel like any amount of consistency in scheduling does any good.  I have prayed & prayed for wisdom (& patience....which thankfully he has supplied in abundance).  I am at a loss......

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"Busy At Home"- My Home Management Binder

So, I promised a post about my Home Management Binder like 2 years ago but I never got around to it.  While reading my OYOL blog, she asked anyone if they had ever used one & if they had blogged about it.  This lit the fire again & so, here it is!

I must admit that I really love my binder.  I made it purdy so that I might actually use it & it has really helped!  I have gone from a 2" binder to a big fat 3" binder though.  I store a bunch of stuff in it.....but it is doing the job of my brain while the real one is taking a hiatus.  It really helps to have a central place to put stuff.  I new it was a winner when my husband asked me where the referral the doctor had written him (6 months earlier) was & I walked right to my binder, turned to his pouch & pulled it out!!!!  Before the binder it would have been lost in one of the 50 piles that magically appear around my house.

I used many different sources when coming up with the perfect binder for my household.  I will list a few at the end of the post if you are interested in building your own. 

Without further ado......the contents of my binder.

Zipper Pouch

Super Mom vs Abiding Mom

Family Divider-
  • Clear sleeve for each member of the family.  Put things like birthday invitations, doctor's notes, a running list of their personality, likes/dislikes, etc. at different points in their lives.  Basically anything I want to keep for that person.  Much of the time I will move the things in those sleeves over into their personal file but that is a good temporary place to keep things.
  • A sleeve for business cards, phone lists, etc.  
  • My master address list.
  • A running list of random phone numbers/addresses.
  • Our medications (Name, RX #, Dosage, What pharmacy & a pharmacy phone #)
  • A list of accounts
  • My wish list

    Meals Divider-
    • 30 Meals Plan master list
    • Menu plan blanks in a page protector
    • Fun ideas, random interesting food related articles
    • Coupon clipping information
    • Pantry Inventory (which is still blank.....I keep thinking that if it stays in there it will eventually get done)
    • Menu planning information

      Schedules Divider- this section is completely out of date in my notebook.  With so many kids being born in the past several years I just haven't gotten to a place where I have a consistent schedule to type up.
      • My Daily To Do Checklist
      • My Daily Schedule
      • Scheduling articles

        Home Divider-
        • Paint chips with the name of the room
        • Plumbing, cable etc. receipts
        • Organizational tips & tricks, articles, etc.
        • Decorating stuff
        • Cleaner recipes
        • Stain removal guide

          Calendar Divider- I could probably actually take this out now that I have a smart phone.  I did use it before that time though.  It just contained a monthly calendar that I printed from outlook.

          Gardening Divider- This is one of those wishful thinking, for the future dividers.  I would love to one day have a garden, so right now I am storing ideas, articles, tips, tricks, pictures, etc.  Eventually, when I actually start the garden I plan to have my garden plan, my seed packets, my time journal, etc. included here.

          To Do Divider-

            Kids & Training Divider-

              Holidays & Gift Giving Divider-
              • Birthday planning pages
              • Christmas gift list
              • Holiday activities for kids
              • Advent list
              • Contents of gift closet

                Crafts, Sewing, Etc. Divider-
                • Inspiration & ideas from magazines
                • Project list

                  Faith & Ministry Divider-
                  • Prayer request list
                  • Weekly prayer sheet
                  • Handouts or sermon notes that don't really have another place
                  • Ministry ideas
                  • Mission newsletters

                    Budget Divider-
                    In the back are the 3 to a page photo sleeves where I will eventually (hehe) put all my 30 recipes & some blank notebook paper.


                    I use so much of Simple Mom's stuff.  I use many of her downloads & have printed many articles to put in my binder.  She has a ton of great information on her site.

                    This is basically where I started & every idea I got branched off, in one way or another, from this post.

                    Also, you can take a look at my Busy At Home board on Pinterest for some additional resources.

                    Tuesday, March 8, 2011

                    I love my job. I don't love the stress.

                    I feel like I am being pulled in about 50 different directions.  I've got a house who is screaming, clean me, fix me, stage me to sell.  I've got a group of 11th grade girls that I need to contact every week & prepare a lesson for.  I've got all kinds of home business; bills to pay, budgets to keep, menus to plan, groceries to get, doctors to visit etc.  & most importantly I've got a 4 year old who loves to play with her Mommy & most likely has a love language of quality (& quantity) time.  I've got a 2 year old who loves to cuddle but, more than that, is at an age that requires a ton of supervision.  I've got a 2 year old who is so in love with his parents & wants them to hold him ALL. THE. TIME.  & finally I've got a 3 month old who relies on her Mommy for her every need, who isn't sleeping & is struggling with eating, who is crying all the time & can't seem to get comfortable.  & on top of that I have to find ways to make being a wife a top priority.  ALL of these things are blessings in and of themselves.  I am SOOO blessed to have all of these things in my life.....BUT I am running thin.....I am getting stressed.....I am shutting down.  When I get to this point I seem unable to get ANYTHING done.    I wish there were something I could remove from my life that is just "good" but not "great" but pretty much all these things are the bare minimum.  And this doesn't include any time spent away from the house with friends or family; playdates, Bible studies, birthday parties, etc.

                    When my Mom shows up to my house or my friend stops by & the pile of laundry that was being folded on the couch is still sitting there.....in a perpetual state of in & out.....I know they wonder what in the world I do, that I can't even get my laundry folded & from the couch to its home.

                    I am having a hard time figuring out how to balance housework & selling preparations with spending time with my kids.  I have heard over & over from Mom's that no longer have children in the home say that their biggest regret is not spending enough time with their kids.....& then what do they say?????......the laundry will wait, the dishes will still be there, etc.  BUT, BUT, BUT......how LONG can you say that?  As of right now, I have a schedule that cleans my house every 2 weeks.  Nothing is ever clean at the same time & each room only gets cleaned once every 2 weeks......HOW CAN I DO ANY LESS THAN THAT?????

                    I know that things will get less hectic as the kids get older......in this way (& yes, I know.....more hectic in other ways) but what about right now?  I can't just blow off the molding & shaping of my children's character because it's too hard to figure out.  I can't just put teaching them their ABC's & 123's on hold because I don't have enough time to fit it in.  & most of all I can't forget that their self confidence is being formed by my ability to show them love & express who they are in Christ.

                    To be really honest, I have put WAY to much time into stupid games on my phone & "bargain" shopping on the internet lately......it is what I do when I get overwhelmed.  If I can just step out of this world, into another, I can forget my stress.  In reality, it is my drug.  It is my idol.....what takes me away from throwing myself into God & letting Him take care of things.

                    I know everything will be OK.  I know that we will all live.....make it to the next day......but I want so much more than that.  I want my children to thrive, I want my house to be put together, I want my bills to be payed on time, my couch to be clear, to be able to keep my grocery bill down, to be the go-to girl for my high school girls, to spend so much time with my kids that they remember me playing with them more than anything else......you get the picture.  I want more than to just survive.  Scripture says that anyone who is lacking wisdom can ask & it will be given to him.  I am praying for wisdom. 
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